The Benefits Of St. John's Wort For Depression

Depression and anxiety are growing problems in the United States, and unfortunately many people who suffer from these serious illnesses are resistant to seeking professional help. Fortunately, there are a number of natural remedies, including St. John's Wort, which show great promise in treating depression and anxiety without the use of drugs. St. John's Wort has been shown to improve mood in many people, and there are those who swear by the positive effects of this herbal medication.

The History of St. John's Wort

The herb we know today as St. John's Wort is know scientifically as Hypericum perforatum, and it gets its name in honor of St. John The Baptist. St. John's birthday was thought to be in June, and it is in June that the golden flowers of this herb begin to bloom. The word "wort" translates to "plant", therefore St. John's Wort is St. John's plant.

This herb grows as a perennial, meaning it will grow back year after year on a single planting. St. John's Wort grows wild like a weed, and it has grown abundantly in Europe for thousands of years. The history of using St. John's Wort also goes back thousands of years, and it has been used as a safe and effective herbal medication for at least 2400 years. The founder of medicine, Hippocrates, was known to prescribe St. John's Wort for relief of such common ailments as hemorrhage, jaundice, dysentery, tuberculosis, colds and insomnia.

In European countries, St. John's Wort has been studied for many decades, and scientists have discovered that it contains a combination of compounds, the most important of which is hypericin. These compounds are thought to react with certain chemicals in the brain, thereby providing emotional comfort, a calming element and freedom from depression. As a matter of fact, St. John's Wort is thought to work much the same way as many common prescription antidepressants.

St. John's Wort And Depression

In Europe and other places around the world, doctors have been prescribing St. John's Wort for the treatment of depression for many years, and the therapeutic effects of this herb have been shown to include relief from mild to moderate depression, relief from anxiety, relief from insomnia, and even increased cardiac circulation.

In the United States, St. John's Wort is available over the counter in a number of preparations and a variety of strengths. When taken orally St. John's Wort is often prepared in capsule formula, at a standardized dosage of 300 mg. With a 0.3 hypericin concentration. The suggested dosage ranges from 2 to 12 capsules per day, depending on the condition being treated and its severity.

St. John's Wort is also available in tea form. The tea is prepared by mixing 2 teaspoons of dried herb with hot water and letting it steep for 10 minutes. After the tea has had time to steep, it is strained, and mixed with sugar or honey to make a tasty drink.

In addition to these common forms, St. John's Wort can be infused into olive oil and used as a massage oil to relieve joint pain and inflammation. This massage oil is also thought to be effective against bruises and wounds.

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